John McCarthy Says He Stands By Benson Henderson Stoppage
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 09.02.2014
He'd make the same call 100 times...
John McCarthy spoke with the MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting) about officiating the upcoming UFC 178, his stoppage of the Rafael dos Anjos/Benson Henderson fight and more. Check out the highlights:
On officiating for UFC 178: "For me it's very nice that they even considered me. I just look at it as it's a great opportunity to go work with the best fighters there are in the world, fighting in a place that is the fight capital of the world, and I'm just lucky that I got this opportunity again."
On how he ended up there: "Eventually I received a call from the Nevada State Athletic Commission and they asked me if I would want to come back. I said absolutely, I'd love to, and they said well we're going to make that happen. So I filled out another application and sent that in, and now I'm going to be licensed in Nevada and working there occasionally -- I can't say how much -- but occasionally I'll be working there and hopefully do a good job for them."
On the NSAC's new direction in terms of weeding out PED users: "I can only say that everything I've seen of what is occurring there is all proactive and very good for the sport. We need athletic commissions to be proactive. You got a lot of fighters that are coming out and talking about drug issues and things like that. And are there guys out there cheating? There are. And that's going to be the way it is, and that's okay, but it is definitely important than an athletic commission is doing everything within its power to keep that to as much a minimum -- or to catch the people as they're trying to do it -- as much as possible. They're going after this, they're doing random tests. All of that is fantastic because it keeps people in check. It's not going to keep everyone, but a lot of people are going to stop doing things that they shouldn't be doing because they realize this could take my livelihood away. They can keep me from fighting."
On the stoppage of the dos Anjos/Henderson fight: "This is what it comes down to, a referee is not there to make the fans happy," he said. "I am there for the safety of the fighter. It all comes down to…there's many things we have to live with in our life, but when a fighter goes unconscious in a fight, and you're in a position where you see it, and you realize he's unconscious, there are times when a fighter can hit the ground or be hit again and wake back up. But if you've come in to stop the fight, the fight's over and you're doing it for the safety of the fighter. Because you can't predict the future. And to sit there and say, well you can wait and let that person get hit and see if they come back…and then stop it, that's not what you do for the safety of the fighter. You've to make a decision. Benson got hit with several things that hurt him, and when Benson is just a tough fighter. When he got hit with a left/right hand that hurt him, and he stood his ground and started firing back, and then he got hurt with a knee that ended up putting him down and when he tried to get up he got hit with the left hand, and when he got hit with the left hand, he went unconscious. I saw him go unconscious, and that was the reason the fight came to an end and I would make the exact same decision 100 times. It's the right thing to do, even though fans at times look at it and go, ‘no, you should have let it go.' As a fan, I understand what they want, but you can't have everything. And when you have a fighter in that position, we have fighters that get damaged, based upon things that happen after they're unable to defend themselves. And as the referee, there's no referee that wants to be responsible for that. And I'm not going to let that happen."